Sunday, February 24, 2013

'Harbinger' by Jonathan Cahn

OK, what the hell kind of book was this?! I was expecting an exciting story along with the prophecy and whatnot, but instead what I got was a bunch of preaching inside a slow, boring, story.  And let me say here that I don't necessarily disagree with the prophecy, but the way it was presented here was just PLAIN DULL!  There was almost nothing to pull me through this story and that is what I need when reading a book.

This book should be classified as non-fiction. If you're looking for an exciting book that deals with the end of the world prophecy then I highly recommend Joel Rosenberg.  I wouldn't recommend this book to torture victims.  There is way too much set-up and very little return. I swear if I had to read about one more freaking seal and fight through one more back and forth conversation...

As a book lover my biggest issue with this book is it tries to disguise itself as a story when in fact it just chapter after chapter of preaching and blandness. I guess I "understand" why the religious love this book so, but as a book lover there is no way I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good story.  


Saturday, February 23, 2013

'Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned' by Walter Mosley

Walking around carrying a Mosley book makes you look smart.  Talking about Walter Mosley makes you appear smart.  Reading Walter Mosley makes you feel smart.  Understanding Walter Mosley makes you smart. 

It's probably a good idea that Mosley choose to introduce us to Socrates Fortlow in fourteen short stories instead of one book.  It would have been too powerful. Socrates Fortlow is an murdering rapist ex-con who has served twenty-seven hard years behind bars.  He's out now, and this Black hulk of a man is loose on the streets in the city of angles.

These fourteen short stories give us a look into the daily life of Socrates. And while they are connected, they aren't in the way you might think. Man, beast, killer, scholar; Socrates. I highlighted so many passages in this book that my pages looks like a freaking rainbow threw up. The simple logic used by Socrates is the force behind this unique collection, and you'll find yourself hoping situations will go wrong... just so you can see what our man will do.

Unfortunately you won't have to hope for that, trouble is already waiting. Sometimes the universe puts it there, other times Socrates opens the door and lays out a welcome mat. Mosley is a modern storytelling icon and he does a masterful job of showing the natural brutality of Mr. Fortlow and his simple, yet effective, brand of street philosophy. 


Friday, February 15, 2013

'A Social Affair' by Pat Tucker and Earl Sewell

My interview with the very talented and very sexy Pat Tucker:

Pat Tucker talks to RubiconReader

OK… this book was just plain nuts!!  If you want to read about everything that can go wrong when hooking up with someone you meet online, here it is.  But let me say this, if you are as stupid as the folks in this book then you deserve to be caught!  Lord have mercy, if I didn’t read this entire book shaking my head then my name isn’t “Jason the Caramel Book Lover”. (hush).  Codi, Katina, Quinn, and Larry are about THE simplest minded people this side of a small yellow bus.

Quinn and Codi are unhappy with their lives.  The marriage is dull, the sex is whack, and their spouses are short a few brain cells (it’s cool… so are they), and they are looking for something else.  Enter social networking.  In a world where you carry a device in your pocket that can access the web at any place or anytime, you find that you can be anyone at anytime.  And they do.  Like I said earlier these two are simple but so are their friends, the catalyst that pushes them into this world.  And this crazy ride becomes even crazier!  

OK, can we at least agree that IF you are going to create a fake FaceBook profile that you’ll keep that profile fake?  Why would you go and try to make that fantasy a reality?  If you tell your “followers” that you have a six pack and the only six pack you have is inside your fridge… see the problem here?  Well, these fools try and the results are funny as hell!  Now as bad as it may sound I think that making and keeping a fake profile can work (look at the evidence) as long as you don’t try and act on it.  Unfortunately the temptation of easy sex is way too much to pass up.  When you’ve got a spouse who is a bedroom dud, even just the hint of a back-breaking orgasm from a stranger will cause you to become Paris Hilton dumb.

Pretending to be someone else is also an aphrodisiac.  Just ask Codi.  Easy money = easy honey… or is it the other way around?  A few days ago I had the pleasure of tuning into BlogTalk radio and listening to Pat and Earl talk about this book.  In the chat room I said “there are some people who deserve to be cheated on”.  I still stand by that statement.  Read this book and tell me if you don’t feel the same way.  Seriously.  All four of these fools have issues and you can’t expect someone to put up with your crap forever. 

So we have a couple of people faking it online, friends helping them out, the John’s who enjoy the good-good, the spouses who catch the sniff-sniff, and not a complete brain between the lot of them. This book will have you laughing and disgusted at the same time.  The term "ratchet" was used on the talk show as well.  There is no official definition of "ratchet" the way it's used here, but if I had to venture a guess it would be:

Ratchet - (noun & verb): 1. the art of acting stupid and ghetto at the same time. 2. Ignoring home training and acting severe enough to embarrass yourself, your race, and your mama. 3. The art of using certain... (ahem) products... for things other than their intended purpose.

There were a few weird plot transitions and the ending felt rushed, but I still had fun reading it.  I have read Pat Tucker and Earl Sewell in the past and have enjoyed their work.  It’s always a gamble when authors write together because it can go either way.  I’m happy to say that this is a successful effort by two wonderful authors.  


Thursday, February 14, 2013

'The Education of Nia Simone Bijou' by Eric Jerome Dickey

I was privileged to attend South Carolina State University in the early 90's.  I was a music major with dreams towards becoming a high school music teacher. But alas, life stepped in and I only completed two years before leaving. The job I took afterwards I kept for the next nine years but I will always remember SCSU. College happens during our most formative years and, for most of us, it is the best time of our life. One of the most enjoyable traits that we (as humans) share is the need to reminisce about "the good old days".

For me, reminiscing about "the good old days" at SCSU consists of living at South Campus, eating at South Campus (breakfast was always bomb), meeting a charming lady who went by the name of 'Sister' who you did not want to cross but who was sweet as pie, and who always saved me pear juice. Looking out the window of the library as the Marching 101 made their way to the stadium. Having a crush in a girl named Michelle Miller (who I still can't find) and then meeting her gorgeous cousin.  The Champagne Girls (lawd have mercy!!), kicking hacky sack in front of Miller Hall, meeting Alfreda, making friends with a very promiscuous and very *ahem* endowed roommate that went to Claflin. Trips to Charleston, homecoming, our night march to the President's house, my sanctuary reading spot inside Henderson-Davis theater, the Pitt, the ATM where I could still get a $5 bill, and the beautiful, beautiful sisters. 

Yeah... college life was a dream and it helped mold the person many of us are today. In 'The Education of Nia Simone Bijou'  by Eric Jerome Dickey we get a small glimpse of how Nia became the sexual tsunami she is now. And like most sculptures, the beginning is always rough. In 'Pleasure' we see Nia in her full blown sexual-ness, in this short story we see how this universe of eroticism came to be.

Nia Simone, how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  This story starts out a little like this review, with Nia reminiscing. Past conversations, past decisions, past loves, and past lovers.  Few people are born being great lovers, Nia damn sure wasn't. But like a scholar she studied. She studied because she wanted to learn, she studied because she wanted to teach.  Unfortunately, the beginning for Nia was not pretty. Funny as hell but not pretty. Matter of fact there is a scene near the beginning where Nia is learning how to give oral pleasure and... oh my god!!  This sexual experiences could easily be formatted into one of them "Do This, Not That" books because, I swear this woman... 

Now... although this short story is a very erotic look into the college life of Nia Simone Bijou, Eric doesn't allow that to eclipse the story.  I've said before that Eric has an intellect that is very rarely matched in modern literature. And that is not laying it on thick. I was able to read this eBook early because the publisher made it available, but I had to read it using an extremely crappy reading app (first world problem I know, so shut up). Because of this I was unable to take notes. You will not have that problem and I envy you. There are so many intellectual one-liners and snippets of conversation that you wonder if you are reading a short story about modern philosophy or a co-ed sex manual. Lucky for us it's both. 

Who else can talk about macro sociology, Jesus, Sylvia Plath, and the Book of the Dead all while naked after sex and just before another round?  I can think of two, maybe three authors who could pull it off.  Eric is one of them. Make no mistake, Eric's books are as sexual and carnal as they come, but reading Eric's books only for the sex is like driving a Jeep only because you can sit high. You're missing the point.

As the sensual awakening of Nia continues we're given hints to something else. Nia is taking us on a lustful trip down memory lane, but what is causing this to begin with?  One woman, Siobhan.  One small hiccup.  And strawberries.  Want to know how good this story is?  I wanted to eat strawberries and I don't even LIKE strawberries!!  Eric paints a story so vivid that he made me crave something I don't even like. Damn.

While Nia is on this journey she is surrounded by her friends (lovers) that are, at times, interchangeable and they add yet another angle to this literary orgy. I think the lesson learned here is that no matter how strong our convictions, it all means nothing if you're horny. Yes, Nia and her friends are extremely intellectual, but the same blood that fuels their brain also fuels their lust. That same need to understand Henry Miller is also that same need to understand why your body is still shaking ten minutes after your orgasm. You can't be Type-A in the classroom and Type-C in the bedroom. No?  Don't think so?  OK, ask any politician. Or sports star. Or your preacher.

'The Education of Nia Simone Bijou' is a lusty, exciting voyeur into the beginnings of a woman for whom sex is a beginning, a sport, a past time, a need, a want, an exercise, an itch, an experiment, a release, a desire, a crutch, a strength, a pro, and a con. 'Decadence', the sequel to 'Pleasure' featuring Nia Simone will be out in April. This short story is the perfect appetizer to feed your Nia habit until then. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

'The Education of Nia Simone Bijou' eBook Contest!

The Contest:

In 'Pleasure' where we first meet Nia Simone Bijou, she meets two brothers Karl and Mark. In that book Karl drove a certain vehicle. The first five (5) people that eMail me a picture of that vehicle will receive a copy of 'The Education of Nia Simone Bijou' from me.

The Catch:
The picture MUST NOT be taken from the Internet!  You must find this vehicle in and around where you live, play, work, or travel.  Don't worry... you won't have any problem seeking one out.  Find it, snap it, send it, win it!  It's that simple!! 

The Rules: 

- Contest starts on February 14th, 2013 and goes until we fulfill the correct number of winners.  Entries sent before this date will be discarded.
- You must have an active/valid Nook or Amazon Kindle account.
- Pictures must be authentic, no web shots.
- eBooks will be gifted to the winners between 2/14/2013 and 2/18/2013.
- Please send correct eMail for Nook/Amazon Kindle account address as incorrect eMails will not be hunted down.
- If you can read this, you are eligible to enter this contest.
- All contest entries must be sent to Entries not sent here will be ineligible to win.
- Winners (first name only) will be posted on this thread.
- Have fun and good luck!!  

Eric Jerome Dickey, Penguin Publishing, and Dutton Publishing have nothing to do with this contest.  I'm just a fan and booklover who wants to share his love for books and reading.